Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Buccaneers Pro Bowler Ali Marpet explains why he shockingly retired from football this offseason at age 28

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were definitely hit with the most surprising retirement of the offseason this year, and it’s not Tom Brady that we’re talking about here. 

Although Brady eventually returned after retiring for 40 days, the Buccaneers lost another starter to retirement in late February when Ali Marpet decided to hang up his cleats for good. The move was an absolute shocker considering that he was just 28 years old and was coming off a 2021 season where he made it to the Pro Bowl. When he announced his retirement on Feb. 27, Marpet didn’t offer much insight into his decision. However, he did offer a few new details this week about why he decided to call it quits, and apparently, it had everything to do with his health. 

“The biggest reason for me was the physical toll: I didn’t want any more of that. There were some things I wanted to accomplish in my career that I had done,” Marpet said in an interview with The Guardian. “I loved playing football. But one of my strongest values is health and if I’m really going to live out what’s important to me it doesn’t make sense to keep playing.”

Over the past four seasons, Marpet only missed a total of three games and those came in November 2020 when he had to sit out several weeks due to a lingering concussion. It seems that head injury may have also played a part in Marpet’s decision to retire. 

“There are also the unknowns of the head trauma of the NFL and how that plays out,” Marpet said. “Plus, your joints, the aches and pains that come with surgeries and all that stuff.”

The 6-foot-4, 307-pound lineman, who served as the Buccaneers starting left guard in their Super Bowl LV win over the Chiefs, was also getting tired of carrying a lot of weight that he didn’t want to be carrying. 

“I was eating as clean as possible for a 300-pounder but having all the weight on your body is bad,” Marpet said.

Marpet made headlines the day he was drafted in 2015 when he set the record as the highest-drafted D-III player in NFL history. (The Buccaneers took him with the 61st overall pick.) At the time, the pick was viewed as a risk, but for Tampa Bay, the gamble definitely paid off. 

Marpet earned the starting job during his rookie year and then spent the next seven seasons making starts everywhere on the Buccaneers’ interior offensive line (Right guard, center, left guard). Over his seven-year career, he started in 101 of the 113 regular season games that the Bucs played in. 

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